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Default Ashes: Two Worlds Collide - Crowdfunding Campaign

April 17th, 2012, 22:52
Long time readers may remember Ashes: Two Worlds Collide, which I was surprised to find was still in our database. Despite disappearing from view many year ago, it seems the team still wanted to complete the game and now they have launched a crowdfunding campaign. Not being US-based, they can't use Kickstarter, so their campaign is online at IndieGoGo seeking $100k:
Ashes: Two Worlds Collide is an original, single player RPG game built on the philosophy of old school rpgs and is strongly inspired by three milestones of RPG history: Ultima VII, Drakkhen and Demon's Winter. We're trying to replicate the exploration, atmosphere and compelling plots of these classics while adding some other features.
  • Open Seamless World:

    The world of Ashes is open and seamless. You are free to travel where ever you like within the natural constraints of the game.
  • Story:

    Ashes: Two Worlds Collide represents one of many stories forged in the minds of a group of pen and paper rpg players over a period of 10 years. Plots, quests and characters were all sculpted with intricate detail.
  • Tactical Turnbased Combat:

    We're not talking Jagged Alliance but we are hoping to implement tactical elements into the turnbased combat system. Anyone who has enjoyed turnbased combat will be relieved to know that Ashes is certainly not a hack and slash game.
  • Characterised Party:

    In Ashes You get to create your own party of four characters but they won't just be a bunch of names and stats. For each member you'll also have to choose a personality (valiant leader, cynical wrangler, shy intellectual and eccentric weirdo) which will play a very important role in the game.
  • Party Dialogue:

    Ashes is all about role playing a party rather than an individual with followers. As such the dialogue system lets you speak using the voice of any party member and use their individual skills as you see fit.
  • Reputation:

    Ashes will use a simple but effective reputation system. Kill innocents or steal and your reputation will follow you. Guards will begin chasing you as you enter a town, merchants will refuse to trade with you, and if you really get too far - be prepared for bounty hunters seeking your head.
  • Living NPC's:

    NPCs don't just stand in one place all day. They live their lives, work in their shops, walk around, eat at lunchtime, sleep at night and so on.
More information.
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April 17th, 2012, 22:52
Not being US-based, they can't use Kickstarter,
A somewhat significant clarification - projects do not need to be US based. As Dhurin pointed out below, it is often very inconvenient for small teams not based in the US meet the requirements. Basically either at least one team member must be a US resident or a US resident acting as an a representative of the team (an attorney or accountant hired or paid for the service); they must be the one who sets up the project and account information.

They do need to have access to a US based bank account. Several highly successful non-US based projects have been funded; this includes FTL (based out of Shanghai) which raised over 2000% of its goal.

It is not particularly hard for non-US residents to get a US bank account, but it's not exactly the most common knowledge nor is it a super-quick process. Unless you are in a country for which US non-resident accounting is prohibitted, you can either find a local subsidiary of a bank with a US presence or contact a US bank yourself and begin the process to get one of these accounts.

Large US banks like Citi-Bank for example just require you call them and ask about it - you then have to fill out forms and send them in by snail mail along with copies of identification. This largely has to do with ensuring you are you and correspond to a real physical address and is related to post 9/11 concerns about funding of terrorism. Some of the other forms have to do with US taxes and other regulatory and national security concerns. Again, it's not a particularly hard process but it is slow since it generally requires the use of snail-mail and doing some legwork. The upside is that this does mean that you know your contributions are going into an FDIC insured and relatively well regulated account (us savings and checking banking is at least - not to be confused with investment and finance nightmare).

For those looking to start Kickstarter projects of an international nature, I have heared the following banks offer some of the more helpful service in terms of setting up the required accounts and ensuring you are in full compliance with US laws (to help them, be sure to explain what the account is for and that it is not intended to be a mere personal saving or checking account):

HSBC (present in the US, British Commonwealth nations, and more)
CitiBank (I beleive they are fairly well represented in Russia recently- and many other nations)
Suntrust (This you would have to do by mail and phone for the most part from what I hear)

Banks and accounting companies can also perform the duties required to set-up the kickstarter page even if no team member is a US resident. Again, this will take longer and also cost quite a lot of money (as in more than a couple hundred even before talking possible comissions.) So yeah Kickstarter is not beyond the reach of non-US based projects, but for the vast majority of them it might be too much of a stretch.
Last edited by jhwisner; April 17th, 2012 at 23:34. Reason: international projects don't have to be left out!
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April 17th, 2012, 23:20
I haven't double-checked but this stuff on the Kickstarter site doesn't apply?

"Be a US resident and at least 18 years of age with a social security number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card."

I thought several projects used a US-based team member to get around it.

Anyway, a few years ago, this looked very promising - take a look at least.

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April 17th, 2012, 23:28
It does look like a cool project, you're right. Using Ultima 7 as one of your key inspirations is a pretty damn good place to start!

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I haven't double-checked but this stuff on the Kickstarter site doesn't apply?

"Be a US resident and at least 18 years of age with a social security number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card."

I thought several projects used a US-based team member to get around it.

Anyway, a few years ago, this looked very promising - take a look at least.
Bah you're right - I missed the US resident part when I read it. So yeah they need at least one team member - or a representative - who qualifies. I read that before but I only remembered the SSN/EIN (EIN can be obtained for non-us residents and the US credit or debit card can be obained through the process of getting the US based bank account. Forgot that it did specifically spell out US resident and also require a US driver's license.

Basically this adds the problem of having to retain the services of a proxy of some sort to act on your behalf. Because of the large ammount of money involved, this would best be done by using the services of an established firms (many do cater to small businesses) that are insured against the malfeasance of a rogue employee, value their reputation more than the money in any one account, and know which forms to sign and not a volunteer, fan or friend. So yeah the costs are probably prohibitive to a lot of groups that do not already have some sort of development and funding already completed.

Alternative (this is not listed on the Kickstarter page, but in the longer information about amazon payment accounts) you just need authorization to do business in the US (register in the state of your choice). Again though, this means fees and forms so pretty similar but at least you would then not have to rely on a proxy for getting signing up for your kickstarter account.
Last edited by jhwisner; April 18th, 2012 at 02:19. Reason: doh, you're right
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April 18th, 2012, 02:14
I was really looking forward to this back in the day, so it's good to hear back from them.

That being said… I think they really do need more to show.

Screens and video of the old project is fine and all… but I feel it might be counterproductive in the sens it might give people the impression that is this how the actual project is gonna look.

IMO they need to get something more substansial to show ASAP, because while the idea of a crowd funded Ultima inspired project is appealing, people will need more insentive to actually go and fund the projet. One might argue, that they perhaps should have put some form of prototyp together on their spare time before setting up this.

Basically - all I'm hoping is that they have more to show soon, or else the 100 000$ goals seems incredibly optimistic.

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April 18th, 2012, 09:25
Wow, Ashes stirs from the Ashes? I remember looking for news on this a couple of times a while back, before giving up on it as another promising but failed indy project.
They'll need to do considerable PR to raise $100000, though. Tortured Hearts shows how difficult it is for little known projects and developers to raise such substantial funds. They should probably have raised some awareness again before going live wiht a funding campaign. I do like the Promo video, though!

I also note that this is set up as a "flexible funding" campaign, which according to the description means it's different from Kickstarter in that the funds get transferred in any case, even if the funding goal is not reached. So it is much more like a classic donation, in that respect. Given that, I would like to know what they plan to do with my money if they do not meet their funding goals - basically I would need them to commit to finishing the game no matter what, before I donate.
Last edited by GhanBuriGhan; April 18th, 2012 at 10:03.
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April 18th, 2012, 10:00
I was thinking Tortured hearts as well, I think these guys should team up, they seem the perfect fit
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April 18th, 2012, 10:05
With $30 you get your name on a tombstone in the game.
That's as awesome as it is creepy!

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April 18th, 2012, 10:10
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
With $30 you get your name on a tombstone in the game.
That's as awesome as it is creepy!
If they are really successful that game might have some large burial grounds
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April 18th, 2012, 14:53
I remember I saw it on a website as being dead project of something and that made me sad as I was liking the art style, I hope this game see surface one day.
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April 19th, 2012, 21:50
Ah, funny. I began to work on musical themes and sound effects for this game back in the day.
Some of which were uploaded on soundcloud a few weeks ago because I was thinking this project was long dead.
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April 20th, 2012, 13:52
Thought I'd pass on this update:
So we finally managed to get this project switched over to “fixed funding”. Apologies for our naivety in selecting “flexible funding” first time round. We obviously just didn’t think about the full implications of it. Anyway…
That means it now works like the other kickstarters, funds will only be transferred if the funding goal is reached. They also reduced their goal to a more realistic $30000.
I think I'll pledge for it, though I'd like to see the promised tech demo first.
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